May 4 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 23

Cece, the flamboyant director, fetches the nearly-nekkid Alphonse wine and wanders away to find some food. While xe is doing so, Alphonse notices some tapping across the ceiling while he rests. He listens harder and hears a conversation above him about Thatcher, killing and resurrections, and how it’s most unseemly in their temple. They start discussing how many times adventurers like Alphonse keep coming into the city and the theater and messing things up. They then start to discuss how they should lock down the theater that night and dispose of Alphonse so he and his ‘kind’ can’t cause problems any more.

Alph thinks that’s the right time to split, so grabs a throw and wraps it around himself. Cece comes back and Alph takes one look at hir and hir not-dress, finds the laundry hatch and drives down it. He slides down and lands outside but slams into a wall, and looks up into some shiny boots. Mr Shiny Boots, an obvious thespian, asks who he is, and what he’s doing here. Alph tries to slide away, and slams into a post. The man puts his foot in Alphonse’s back and after a little conversation, leads him to a nice dining room. They then discuss Alphonse’s leaving, but first Shiny-Boots wants to know what Alph may have heard. Alphose goes for truth, and says he heard something being ‘a foot’ but isn’t sure what. The man nods and orders Alph to be shackled. Alphonse lets himself be shackled, because he knows the oil on his body will allow him to escape later. Mr Shiny-Boots says nows is the time to get him sorted for the performance. Alph, not being an actor in the slightest, takes offense to this and tries to use the shackles to strangle Shiny-Boots. Mr Boots tutts and uses Hold Person to keep him, ah, rigid. Alph’s captors take him off to a room under the theater where a decrepit old priest says they’re going to prepare Alphonse for display. He is shackled to a structure, and takes the time to look around, with what little movement he has. There are monoliths surrounding him, and the stones are hooked up to chains reaching to the ceiling. it looks as though, when those stones move, the platform will rise up to the ceiling, which will open will open on to the theater stage to show Alph off.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group are following Alphonse’s slick ‘snail’ trail. While the others go to see if they can obtain their slippery companion from from Cece, Elowin, with Daraja in tow, peals off to go see the Captain and get shouted at.

At the theater of Olidammara, they see a door at the back of the theater open a crack with a light coming through. The group hear Cece complaining about Alphonse being ‘taken’ by someone. Drakewing goes in to say hello, and Cece flails at him, saying that they took Alph away from hir. The man who xe is talking to says he ‘rescued’ Alph from Cece and he will take them to him. They agree, and follow the theater man, who leads them through dark corridors and then… onto the stage.

The lights comes up and the group sees where they are, and the audience around them. The announcer, the man who lead them to the stage, says welcomes the audience and introduces the group as the forces of chaos. The stage opens and Alphonse is brought up, bound on a cross in a ring. He sees the others, starts shouting to be helped, and then sees the audience. People in deep cloaks start to move around the stage, pulling weapons, and that’s about when the fight started.
The announcer summons a thoqqua, which breaks half the stage and lights the set on fire. Alph and his chains are flung towards the back of the stage, which interrupts the hold person charm over him, and he manages to escape. Lorc starts singing and wanders over to assist Alphonse, and give the newly freed fighter his sword back. Stringwhiskers casts hold person on the announcer and Meredith kneecaps the announcer, and tries to interrogate him. However, because of the hold person spell, his jaw is locked and he cannot even scream.
The thoqqua rolls around and lands on Enizeag, making him angry, so the half-orc turns and hits a support pillar, bringing the house down on top of some extras.
Lorc hears a whistling sound behind them, and a man with a mask of the Laughing God starts clapping. He says the performance was a sham, and has a damning critique of the actors. The man, in a purple cloak, offers his congratulations to Lorc, and offers Alph the rapiers of the announcer, who turns out to be Mr Shiny Boots, Alphonse takes them, but says he also wants everyone who was involved in his abduction to be arrested. The purple cloaked thespian, agrees and offers his sincere apologies, before walking to a throne hidden at the back of the stage.
From somewhere more shackles are produced, people complicit in the abduction start getting clapped in irons and the audience leaves for drinks.

Meanwhile Elowin and Daraja have gone off to the watch house, her to report to the Captain about the explosion, he to defend himself before Alph can accuse him of deliberately killing the alchemist. After Elo get’s done explaining her side of things, the Captain sighs, but doesn’t start shouting. Instead he tells them that the alchemist has been a problem, and thanks them for taking him out, and that she and Alphonse did a good job in evacuating all the people. The Captain starts muttering about the mess though, and Daraja offers to take on the contract for the council to help rebuild the homes affected. The Captain gibbers slightly at this amazing piece of news, and gives Elo another promotion. As they leave the captain’s office, Elo gibbering herself, and a they make their way through the station a lot of Elo’s colleagues either salute and congratulate her or suddenly need to nip out for a fag – including her own partner. They come across Irvine who accidentally starts to blurt out about the investigation into Daraja in front of the woodling, and then stops, but Daraja shrugs and says he has nothing to hide.

Suddenly Merry and Enizeag show up and ask to borrow a cart for Watch business. Darja says he will return to Drakewings house, while Elo goes back to assist the others with their arrests and processing, with Merry filling her in on the details on the way to the theater.

May 3 2015

Destiny’s New Servants: Elowen’s Backstory

My name is Elowen of Toregarde, and I am an Corporal in Toureguard City Watch.

I was brought here, along with my adopted family, as a refugee when I was 8 years old by the adventurer Alexis Dalliance and her friends.

Like her, I am a woodling, displaced by events from my home in Darkwood Forest. A group of orcs, driven by a madman from another plane, ransacked my village. I do not recall how I escaped – but I still remember their clan name. I stumbled around in the woods, until I was found by others fleeing from the raid. They took me in, and we made a family, escaping to the town of Stonebridge together, which is where Alexis and her friends found us, and brought us to her home.

I had known her all of two hours, when I told Alexis I would find those orcs and make them pay. I remember she nodded and told me she would train me to do so, if that’s really what I wanted. However, after the close of the portal above the town, she changed.

When the city was rebuilt and the council gave their ultimatum, many expected her to give them the archer’s salute and leave, but she didn’t. Instead, she accepted it, and retired to watch over the portal. Once, when Mistress Selene was deep in her cup, she confided to me that Alexis had stared into the howling maw of The Pit, and looked at each of those gibbering mouths and gnashing tentacles in turn, until she’d seen all the way down to the Nothing at the bottom. She had a theory about her friend’s change, she told me: Alexis had never been very stable, but Mistress Selene thought that slightly-too-long look had pushed Alexis so far over the edge, that she’d come back up the other side, and was the sanest she’d ever been. Mistress Selene had been worried though, that one day we’d turn around and Alexis would simply be an unrecognisable shade of her former self.

Alexis still trained me when I asked her at the age of 10, as I had asked all those years ago, and in time, she told me revenge was pointless. She had sent the remnants of the clan that attacked my village into battle as their redemption, a long time ago, and none of them ever came back. I felt hollow for a long time after that, but she soon had me back, picking locks and dodging fireballs. She was tough and pushy, and kept me so busy that I soon learnt to put that past behind me, and find a new place for my self. I changed my Name from that which was given – Featherdown – to the one I’m known as today.

Alexis taught me what she could of traps and fighting, of making the most of my eyes and ears and my brain, but she also gave me a code of honour that she called Hex’s Way. Never fight someone weaker than yourself; Live humbly and graciously; Protect those around you; Always stand up to those who would try to harm others.

As I came of age, at 16, she decided she had taught me all she could, and sent me with a letter to the Captain of the City Watch. I became a Watchman and used what Alexis had taught me to help investigate the petty crimes a city will always attract.

Mistress Selene had been right in her prediction, however; Alexis continued to change, and I was worried for my Mentor. She would only drink the weakest ale and eat the thinnest of broth. She left the portal tower less and less, and would sit day and night with her crossbow on her lap, watching the seal. I tried to visit her as much as I could, to encourage her to come and outside with me, but she dismissed me.

Then one day I went to see her, and found her stool empty and Mistress Selene waiting for me instead. The old Wizard’s face was grim as she handed me a sealed envelope. Inside was a folded piece of parchment. It was torn and charred and stained, a ring and a key. The key was to her house – I recognised it instantly, the ring I recalled having seen Alexis wear, but I didn’t know what it did. Mistress Selene looked sad as she saw the paper, as though she already knew what it was, as I unfolded it. It was addressed to a Captain Hengar, and the first line read: ‘In the event of my death,’ My eyes had blurred over, and I couldn’t read any more.
“Did something happen?” I asked, blinking quickly.
“Not yet,” Selene said. “I came in today and she was just gone. I checked the house. Even the Plot Hook. No one’s seen her. She’s left town, probably for good.”
“What do you mean, ‘not yet’?”
“If she’s gone, it’s for one reason,” Mistress Selene looked at me. “And it looks like she’s made you her sole beneficiary.”
I carefully put the paper and items back in the the envelope, and left the tower in a daze clutching it to me like a comforter, and turned towards the Watch House.

It has been two years since that day, and the fun is just getting started.

April 22 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 21

As the group are progressing up the mountain path, they suffers an ambush by raccoon dogs. After the raccoons have been dispatched, the quiet was interrupted by a monk procession, with flute and drum, who say they have been sent out to find the group. Zhou, their guide offers his farewell and tips out his basket, the one that contained String Whiskers. The party follow the monks back into the mountains to discover a little hidden temple. As they come into the courtyard, they see there is a table with two bent figures umming and erring over small tiles – a game of some kind. One is a dwarf, very hairy, and the other is a old turtle man, bent on staff, humming peacefully.. They watch while the elders play. The turtle wins and the drawn complains that his fellow cheats, and wanders off in search of a drink.

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March 30 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 20

Alphonse meets his new partner, Irvin Cobbleskater, and Irvin’s ‘informants': a pack of rats he’s befriended, and sees how much work the copper has managed to get done with them. Together they start to tackle the pile of cases on Alphonse’s desk.

Meanwhile, Elo, Enizeag, whiskers and Lorc arrive at the council chambers where the general is waiting for them. the sword is placed on a table and after some discussion, a priest of pelor attempts to excise the demon from the sword. Unfortunately all he does is set it free, and it vanishes.

Merry, who is reading, feels a cold wind blast through and out of the window sees a dark cloud heading towards the area she knows Daraja has his home.

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March 23 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Parts 18 & 19

The warren is defeated, the king flees and the two ogres cause the tunnel to collapse down on them. The hero’s run, and find themselves on the edge of a cavern where the underpath has collapsed and only a swift river remains. They get themselves sorted with rope and make it across just fine, however with all the excitement, they find themselves exhausted, so try to settle down  to rest. Once again they are close to the edge of a path collapse, and it’s not long before a troll climbs up and tries to munch on them. They defeat it, and try to settle back down…

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March 16 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 17

The party thinks they hear intelligent squeezing, like a rat trying to sing. They notice that is exactly what it is, and there is a nezumi rat-man plucking at a 3-string lute. Elo hails him and asks if he knows where the necromancers are, and he says they are just ahead, and asks if they need help. They group say yes, and he comes along. They catch up and swiftly take out the necromancers, however the leader has already scarpered via dimension door. They search the bodies and find a note to say they will rendezvous at Castle Dire.

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February 16 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 7

The group make their way to Coven, a druid village at the base of the Moonstone Hills. On their way they see two horsemen who are running parallel to them. They look like they could be shifty so Daraja shoots them. One falls off his horse and scuttles away in a manner that Elo says is goul like. Daraja puts two more arrows in him and runs over to check it out. He brings back a missive that says they were being watched for. The other rider is long gone so they cut their losses and hurry to Coven.

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February 9 2015

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 6

After resting well into the morning, the group are surprised to see a large armoured barge coming down the river. It is filled half with watch-men and half with army. When it comes to rest, the watchmen, Derran at their head, place Elowen and her deputies under arrest.

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